The Use of Stretching & Mobility to Aid Recovery

Flexibility and mobility, in most cases, is one the most overlooked aspects when it comes to an exercise regime. However, regardless of your goals or sports it most defiantly should be paramount. For gym goers who are looking to increase their frame it has been shown that static stretching the working body part post work out can increase the rate of hypertrophy through the increased activation of satellite cells and the enhanced release of growth factors (hepatocyte growth factor, myogenin, IGF-1). In addition to this it will also alleviate any stiffness or muscle soreness commonly associated with muscle hypertrophy based weight training.

In my case, mobility has been something that I have often lacked, particularly in the hip. Although I would often perform mobility exercises before I train, I would often neglect performing mobility exercises at the end of a hard session. This of course would lead to me being sore, stiff and not getting the most out of the session the following day.

In MMA, the sport I compete in, it is fair to say that Conor McGregor has grabbed a lot of attention for his brash talking and performances in the cage. Although one thing that has certainly grabbed my attention was his approach to training with him often referring to his unique 'human movement'. This has lead me to become far more aware and more diligent about becoming more flexible and mobile with one of my weakest areas, my hips. I am nowhere near the finished product when it's comes to my mobility but I'm working progress. Furthermore during my strength & conditioning sessions are able to perform my squats, cleans and dead lifts far more effectively due to my hips and other areas becoming more free.

Below is an example of mobility exercises I would perform after a hard training session to optimise my recovery, continue to improve my mobility and as a byproduct improve my overall performance.

Image1Stretch 1 - 'The Worlds Greatest'

1) Start in press up position and bring your left foot next to left hand, lift the chest up to allow a greater stretch in the groin only hold a few seconds as this is a dynamic stretch.
2) Bring down the left elbow to touch the floor before rotating the arm up straight over the head. This is increase a further stretch on the groin and then open the chest out.
3) Whilst keeping the hands on the floor as best as possible staighten out both legs to force a stretch on the hamstrings.
4) Repeat this 5-6 times each side, remember this is a dynamic stretch not a static one.

Glute Strech

1)Whilst on all fours straighten the arms and sit back into the floor.
2) From there bring yourself forward, lift your chest and arch your back.
3) Repeat this 10-12 times


The 'S' Stretch

1) Hold this position for 30-60 secs.
2) Repeat this on the right side.

the s strech

Butterfly Stretch

1) Hold this position for 30-90 seconds.
2) Apply more force by pushing the elbows onto the knees.

buterfly strech

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